The White House on Friday responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo's call for a meeting with President Donald Trump about the next steps in the coronavirus pandemic, saying the governor missed 17 briefings meant for state governors.
Cuomo, along with Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, requested the meeting on Thursday to discuss the details of vaccine procurement and distribution as the leaders of the National Governors Association.
But the Trump administration fired back, noting Cuomo has been a no-show where vaccine details have been discussed.
"Governor Cuomo, given you have missed the last 17 governors-only briefings, including the September 9 briefing, enclosed is the September 9, 2020 readout we provided your staff and senior leadership team," wrote Douglas Hoelscher, an assistant to the president and the White House's intergovernmental affairs director.
Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor to Cuomo, called the briefings with the White House pointless.
"We learned early on that the White House calls were a total waste of time and nothing more than political propaganda, using elected officials as props to heap praise on the president and deny the virus' existence," Azzopardi said. "What the Governors of this nation actually require is a substantive operational discussion on policy and programming."
Cuomo has derided Trump's handling of the pandemic and the federal response to the crisis, but the two have met on occasion to discuss the allocation of federal response. Cuomo has also accused Trump of politicizing the push to develop a coronavirus vaccine, airing concerns some people may not want to take it if it's not proven safe to do so.
The Centers for Disase Control and Prevention have provided technical assistance to jurisdictions, including 400 questions form state officials. Vaccination plans are due to the CDC on Friday and each jurisdiction is on target to meet the deadline, federal Health and Human Services officials said.